FM

Oct 222014
 

The pattern within the bookmakers community can always be an indication to which a transfer would end up, although, their assertion is not always cast on stone, as there could be intervening circumstances that would influence the direction of a transfer.

As the January transfer window draws close, Bookmakers Ladbrokes have placed Arsenal as the odds on favourite to sign Hull City defender Andy Robertson. The 20 year old left back has not spent half a season at the KC Staduim having arrived from North of the border in Scotland from Dundee United for a fee of £2.8 million.

Arsenal currently have adequate cover in the left back role in which Nacho Monreal and Kierab Gibbs are the players that have held sway in that position. However, the dearth of cover in defence as created a situation where Nacho Monreal has deputised at centre half in Arsenal’s last game against Hull City. It is not clear whether Arsene Wenger intend to bring in the Scotland international in order to move Nacho Monreal into central defence permanently.

The bookmakers have shown on several occasions that they could point the direction in which a player would end up, prior to Alexis Sanchez’s transfer to Arsenal, several bookmakers stopped taking bets on the Chilean’s transfer to Arsenal almost a month before he joined, which further indicates that their claims in respect of this particular transfer could have some steam to it, and there is also the small matter of Micheal Owen’s move to Manchester United in 2009, when there was no prior notice, yet the news first broke through the bookmakers before he was confirmed to be heading to Old Trafford.

While, some claims could be wide off the mark, a snippet of what Arsenal would do in respect of the January transfer window, has been revealed by this report.

According to the Daily Star, it would take as much as £10 million to prize the former Celtic youth player away from the KC Stadium. A fee that coincidentally falls into the reported £20 million transfer kitty available to Arsene Wenger to spend in the January transfer window.

Arsene Wenger has alluded to the fact that he would rectify the shortage of defenders in the January transfer window, and going by Ladbrokes revelations, they could have given a clue to where Andy Robertson would end up, but ultimately there could be other intervening factors that could alter what happens in respect of this particular transfer.

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Oct 212014
 

The summer transfer window has barely ended when rumours and links about players who could move and clubs who could buy and reinforce their teams have filled the media.

Transfer speculations have become part of the day-to-day activities of clubs and football world in general.

Chelsea have done a great business in the summer bringing in quality players like Diego Costa (from Atletico), Fabregas(from Barcelona) and Loic Remy (from QPR) but this players have barely settled down when a host of others are being linked to the club.

The man in charge of calling the transfer shot at the club- Jose Mourinho has however come out to highlight what Chelsea can expect in the January Window. Speaking about the January transfer window during his presser ahead of Tuesday’s Champions league clash against NK Maribor, this is what Mourinho has to say;

“We do not think about that (the

window), that is a long time to go with November and December.

“Hopefully we don’t need it and don’t have problems. The window is there for people in trouble, for whatever reason, to cope with a difficult moment. Hopefully we do not need it.” Mourinho said

And Jose Mourinho was right on point on both statements. Absolutely this is not the best time to discuss the January transfer window least when the club have crucial Champions league game and an Old Trafford trip to make.

On what to expect in January, Jose was also spot on. The January transfer window is for teams who are in trouble and need to reinforce. Chelsea at present is not in that category. The team is one seen by many as the most complete team in the Epl this season with the acquisition of Fabregas, Costa and Remy in the summer.

At the moment the team looks a balanced team with every position having an able cover. Even Loic Remy has looked an able cover for injured Diego Costa and the January transfer window wouldn’t be one that Chelsea overtly need.

According to Mourinho, the club activity or inactivity in the January transfer window will depend on immediate and pressing need which at the moment looks like Chelsea does not have any pressing need in any position.

Diego Costa has struggled with hamstring injuries over his first few months at the club, but it is expected the player will recover well enough to play a major role in Chelsea campaign this season. He has come good for the club in the matches he has played so far, scoring nine times in seven league appearances.

Chelsea have kicked off the season in a flying start as well, winning seven out of the eight league matches played so far- a feat which have seen them top the league table five points above the closest rival Manchester City. The team also is in the quarter final of the Capital one cup, currently topping its Champions league group and is yet to lose a single match this season.

Chelsea current situation is not one which should generate a panic buy in the January transfer window. And just as Mourinho said the winter transfer window is not one that Chelsea overtly need. Chelsea is ably set to compete in all fronts with the current squad without much trouble.

Written by Kc Emmanuels

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Oct 212014
 

Arsenal has been alerted by the availability of Marseille talismanic forward Andre-Pierre Gignac and reports are saying Arsene Wenger is keen on landing the attacker for free next summer. According to reports the player’s contract expires by the end of the season and Marseille stand the painful risk of letting him go for free or the reasonable decision to sell him for a modest fee in January, but Le10Sport has now revealed that the player isn’t interested in extending his contract at Marseille and has rejected their contract extension offer. Recently, the player’s agent, Christopher Hutteau, admitted that his player could play for either Arsenal or Liverpool, the two sides that have been linked to the player, saying: ‘‘Given the fact that he is not very old, he has a real market value. This is a striker with a relatively atypical profile, responsive to the physical challenge, the archetypal player who can succeed in a big club. He can play in England, Arsenal or Liverpool, no problem. For me, it is (his real value) between 12 and 15 million Euros.’’

Andre-Pierre Gignac, 28, was first noticed on the international stage in 2008 when he scored 25 goals for Toulouse in the French Ligue 1, a feat that got him signed up by Marseille in 2010. But at Marseille, his form and fitness level went on and off due to injuries and some inconsistencies. However, last season, he found his scoring boots and netted 22 times in 44 games. Then, the French giants hired Marcelo Bielsa, the Argentinean and former Chile national team coach before the World Cup and the veteran coach seems to be bringing out the best in Gignac. Bielsa reportedly told Gignac to lose 5kg of weight in order to hit 25 goals this season. Gignac has hit 10 goals in 10 matches this season so far Marseille and they stand a chance of losing him to international suitors in England. If a move of intent to keep the layer isn’t made by Marseille, then Arsenal would be able to hold talks of a pre-contract agreement ahead of his switch to the Emirates Stadium next term.

However, the injury to Olivier Giroud made the manager, Arsene Wenger, sign Danny Welbeck from rivals, Manchester United on transfer deadline day. However, Arsenal has had a slow start to the English Premier League season, winning just 2 matches with 4 draws and 1 loss. The Arsenal attack has not really been top notch so far this season, and though Gignac has been variously likened to Olivier Giroud in terms of playing styles, the manager could just land the player on a free transfer by the end of the season. This kind of deals cannot just be put past Arsene Wenger, who is known for his good negotiating skills and knack for good value for money deals. But for many Arsenal fans, this would represent a misplacement of priorities, as the defence and defensive midfield positions need more attention than the top striker position.

With blazing Danny Welbeck, a fully fit Olivier Giroud, a scoring Yaya Sanogo, a resurgent Lukas Podolski, fantastic Alexis Sanchez and smoking hot Theo Walcott, one would wonder if signing Gignac next season is a necessary move by Wenger, considering the urgent and pressing need for a central defender and a defensive midfielder.

’Tayo Amosu.

 

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Oct 162014
 

The winter transfer window inches closer, speculations, rumours and gossips concerning players’ transfers and clubs’ acquisitions are underway. A plethora of English Premier League clubs and scores of players would make moves in January when the window opens. Therefore, attention should be paid to news and reports about transfers from now as clubs would be making underground moves to strengthen their squads for the second half of the season. Now, news concerning Arsenal’s chase of Benfica midfield ace, Talisca and talks of Liverpool calling short the season-long loan deal for Divock Origi and other reports are all around the media. Here are a few reports involving Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Divock Origi: News filtering in says, Brendan Rogers may just call short the season long loan arrangement Liverpool had with Lille FC in France over Divock Origi. Origi was signed from Lille but was sent on a season-long loan back to the Ligue 1 club. Liverpool could just recall the player from his loan spell and draft him into his squad in January, to bolster and expand his attacking options, according to reports from Daily Star. Brendan Rogers recently spoke of the player and expressed the fact that Origi may not immediately fill the shoes left by Luis Suarez but has the potential of becoming a Liverpool top scorer in seasons to come as his qualities have made such speculations easy. Liverpool were very impressive last season almost clinching the English Premier League title coming second on the log behind Manchester City, the eventual Champions. A major factor responsible for the successful run last term is the Sturridge and Suarez (SAS) connection in their forward line but this season, the absence of Suarez through a departure to Barcelona and Daniel Sturridge through injury has had an effect on the potency of the Liverpool attack this summer. The signing of Mario Balotelli from AC Milan and Rickie Lambert from Southampton hasn’t really alleviated the goal scoring problem and now the manager, Brendan Rogers would look to bring in Divock Origi in January, by cutting short his loan spell with Lille and hopefully pair him up with Sturridge for a semblance of the Suarez era.

Talisca: According to Daily Star, Arsenal has stepped up their pursuit of Benfica midfielder, Talisca, a £17m rated star. Talisca is currently the Portuguese Primeira Liga’s top scorer with  6 goals, this season and he featured recently for the Brazilian U-21 team against Bolivia on Friday, where Arsenal scouts were seen present to watch the interesting player. Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho has also been said to be interested in the player but Arsenal seem to be the keener of the two London clubs for the player’s signature. However, the report says Arsene Wenger would aim to land the player only if Lukas Podolski, the 29-year-old Germany and Arsenal forward leaves the club in January. Podolski has been a subject of speculations of an Arsenal departure alongside Costa Rican, Joel Campbell. Other than the central defence and the defensive midfield positions where many fans believe Arsenal need reinforcements most, any signing of a forward or attacking midfield player is likely to come at the expense of the exit(s) of the Campbell and Podolski. Talisca, the 20-year-old midfielder would make a good signing for Arsenal especially considering him being a long term replacement of Podolski at the Emirates.

Varane: Raphael Varane, the Real Madrid and France defender has revealed that he turned down the chance to join Manchester United under Alex Ferguson in 2011 because of the Red Devil’s signing of English man Phil Jones. On the switch to United, Varane said: “Manchester United? They had just signed Phil Jones in my position.” Raphael Varane, 21, is a top class versatile defender for Real Madrid, who has played Right Back, Centre Back and even in the defensive midfield at one point or another in his career so far. He joined Real Madrid in 2011 under the guidance of Jose Mourinho and had since featured, though most times as an unused substitute, in a star-studded Madrid side. Varane was the preferred centre back defender alongside Mamadou Sakho for France in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil keeping top defenders like Laurent Koscielny and Eliaquim Mangala on the bench. His decision to choose Madrid over United has paid off now especially considering the fact that Manchester United highly underrated Gerrard Pique and Paul Pogba, two players, who had since gone on to become world class stars with Barcelona and Juventus, during their time at the Old Trafford.

’Tayo Amosu

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Oct 012014
 

When David Moyes took control of what can be termed the biggest football team in England, who would have thought that Manchester United would go on to become the laughing stock of England and the whole of Europe? Ferguson in his more than two decades as manager had turned the club to a model club with a whole lot of trophies hanging in the museum. Then came the time for the Scot to retire and what happened? He brought in his fellow country man to continue where he had stopped.

Before then, David Moyes had been at Everton for more than a decade with no single silverware to his name or club he managed. That he enjoyed his team with blue half of Merseyside was an understatement. He was a demigod there. The fact that he was always able to put them some levels above midtable every season was an achievement for the Tofees.

Suddenly, Moyes found himself handling the the most famous club in England. The fact that he was single handedly chosen by SAF was in itself an achievement for him. The season started and things got really bad. Trust the Manchester United supporters, they tried rallying round their new manager but things didn’t just seem right and towards the tail end if the season, he was sacked.

Manchester United ended up finishing seventh on the league table, missing the opportunity of playing any European competition.

With another season beckoning, Manchester United laid their hands on a tested and trusted manager by the name Louis Van Gaal. With credentials that show he is right for the job, the Dutchman began a massive overhaul, displacing a number of players he deemed surplus to requirements while bringing in a number of stellar signings. Football analysts that were of the opinion that United would find it difficult to attract good players due to lack of European football were in for a shock. First came Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw.

This was followed by the arrival of Di Maria from Real Madrid. Then this was followed up with the purchase of Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon. And on transfer dealine day, the transfer coup that saw Radamel Falcao opt for Old Trafford took the whole footballing world by surprise. Another signing from Ajax was also completed that day in the name of Daley Blind and thus, Manchester United declared a statement of intent. Who says they wouldn’t attract good signings? From then until the just concluded weekend match, Manchester United have been showing signs of a re-emergence. That they will or will not make the top four this season is rather to early to judge. But there is definitely a new found hope within the Old Trafford hierarchy that things will definitely get better.

It would be worthy to note that United might not be so lucky in the transfer window if they fail to qualify for the Uefa Champions League next season. That they were able to pull it off this season is to be seen as a one-off and the possibility of it happening again will be low. Most good players in Europe wish to play in the Uefa Champions League and any team that doesn’t qualify fot the tournament always finds itself to blame. If in doubt, try asking Liverpool how they have fared in the past 5 seasons with regards to player transfers.

Although Manchester United is a big club and will continue to attract big names but missing out on champions league football again next season may mean the club will struggle to keep their current stars and even more difficult to attract big name players who will see missing out on champions league football for 2 consecutive seasons a bad sign.

Over to your Louis Van Gaal

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Sep 022014
 

Manchester United fan and former striker, Danny Welbeck, has been pictured in an Arsenal shirt for the first time since his £16m move to North London.

Yesterday, Arsenal denied that Welbeck had been present for a medical. When this news was relayed to Arsenal supporters outside the Emirates on Sky Sports News, they cheered. After losing out on Radamel Falcao to Manchester United, they were clearly hoping for a stronger calibre of player.

However, the move was confirmed a few hours later.

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Sep 012014
 

Radamel Falcao has been pictured at Carrington ahead of his shock loan move to Manchester United from Monaco.

Manchester City and Arsenal had been battling out to sign the striker, who has scored an incredible 155 goals in last 200 games, but United surprised everyone when they agreed terms with the player.

Whilst personal terms are yet to be finalised, it appears as though the signing is very close to being confirmed.

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Sep 012014
 

Tottenham Hotspur had been favourites to sign Danny Welbeck last week although there were rumours that Arsenal and Everton were also keen on a loan move.

However, Arsenal were rivalling Manchester City to bring in Radamel Falcao as their priority signing. The striker has scored 155 goals in his last 200 games and was available on loan.

But Manchester United wrapped up a deal for the striker instead, meaning Arsenal were keen to bring Welbeck to the club. Reports suggested a loan move would cost £6m whilst a permanent deal would be worth £18m.

Sky Sports News reported that Welbeck was having a medical at Arsenal and the player’s agent went on talkSPORT confirming that offers had come in for the striker.

“There have been a few clubs in for Danny and they’re looking for loan deals with a view to buying, but Danny doesn’t want to go on loan,” he said. “He wants a straight transfer and he has every right to say that. In the last half an hour I have received some interest in a straight transfer which I’m going to speak to Manchester United about.”

However, Arsenal have released a statement to “categorically deny” the reports that Welbeck had underdone a medical with them and insist no deal is in place.

A few hours later, it was confirmed that Arsenal signed the Manchester United youth product for £18m.

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Sep 012014
 

Ajax have this evening confirmed that the £13.8m deal for Daley Blind has gone through. Whilst the clubs reached an agreement last week, there were certain conditions that were fulfilled this evening.

Tonight, Blind is in Hilversum, Holland, to collect his award for being named the best player in Holland last season. The prize is known as the “Golden Boot” in Holland has previously been won by Luis Suarez, Edwin Van der Sar, Jaap Stam, Frank Rijkaard and Johan Cruyff.

Louis van Gaal is also present at the award ceremony this evening.

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Sep 012014
 

Javier Hernandez has joined Real Madrid on a season long loan from Manchester United with the option of it being made permanent.

“It’s an honour and a dream to play in this team,” he said. “Of course, I have aims, dreams and I’m going to go out on the pitch determined to enjoy this experience. In my head and in my heart I am only grateful for being a part of this great team.”

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Aug 312014
 

Earlier this week, Jose Mourinho claimed that Chelsea were finished in the transfer market and that he was “happy” with the squad he had.

Arsene Wenger was saying similar things about Arsenal and wasn’t going to be pressured in to bringing in a new striker, despite their first choice striker, Oliver Giroud, being ruled out with injury until 2015.

QPR’s Loic Remy had a release clause of £10.5m and reports suggested that Arsenal were keen to sign him, despite interest from Chelsea.

However, it was confirmed today that Chelsea have won the race to sign the striker.

“I feel very happy and very proud to have signed for Chelsea,” Remy said. “They are one of the best clubs in the world and I can’t wait to get started, training and playing with my new team-mates, when I get back from international duty with France.”

Following Arsenal’s draw with Leicester, Wenger claimed the issue wasn’t whether Arsenal needed a player or not, but whether they could find the right one. He claimed the club were “open” to signing a striker. When asked specifically about Remy, Wenger claimed that he “didn’t want to talk about individual cases” but insisted that Arsenal are “very active”.

It makes you wonder why Arsenal didn’t move for Remy until the last minute. This leaves Arsenal with Yaya Sanogo, Joel Campbell, Lukas Podolski and Alexis Sanchez as their options for up front as it stands.

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Aug 312014
 

With just over 24 hours remaining until the transfer window closes, it looks as though Manchester United might be doing their rivals, Manchester City, in signing a fantastic striker. While United are behind City in the title odds with Betfair, one only has to look back at Arsenal’s sale of RvP to realise that strengthening your direct rivals is never a good idea.

It appeared as though Radamel Falcao was set to move to Real Madrid from Monaco, with him even tweeting about the move. He preferred a move to Spain over England, but that might not be a possibility now.

Rumours suggest that United have agreed a deal to loan Javier Hernandez to the Spanish giants, although an agreement on salary has yet to be finalised.

If this loan goes through, Falcao would no longer be required by Real Madrid, meaning City wouldn’t need to get themselves involved in a bidding war for the £55m striker.

After being fined £50m for breaching FFP, City are under pressure to generate more cash before they can buy. Álvaro Negredo, Micah Richards, Matija Nastasic and Scott Sinclair may all be on their way out of the club, after United have paved the way for Falcao to move to the other team in Manchester.

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Jul 072014
 

The injury that sent shockwaves for all people watching this summer’s World Cup was the damage Neymar sustained to his back. However, the absence of Angel di Maria for the rest of the World Cup will certainly be headline news in Argentina.

The Real Madrid winger was subbed off in his country’s win over Belgium in the quarter-final after tearing muscles in his right thigh when having a shot on goal.

The manager of Argentina, Alejandro Sabella, initially thought that Di Maria would be available for the semi-final, but scan results have shown that he will likely be absent for the rest of the World Cup, even if his country do reach the final. Given Argentina’s strength in depth, you would fancy them as favourites to win it still, but the odds for each country still in the World Cup might have improved following Di Maria’s injury.

Argentina fans won’t be the only ones disappointed to hear of the injury though, as Manchester United had been strongly linked with a £40m move for the winger last week. Real Madrid have apparently already lined up his replacement, Monaco’s James Rodriguez, but if Di Maria isn’t fit to pass a medical, he won’t be going anywhere.

“For now, I’m just thinking the World Cup,” Di Maria said when asked about his future. “We’ll see what happens with Madrid and if they want to continue. Honestly, I know that there are offers and interested clubs.”

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May 242014
 

New Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is reportedly lining up a move for Dutch international Memphis Depay. Depay is considered to be one of the brightest young talents in world football and there are rumours United are preparing a £15 million bid.

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Apr 082014
 

Ahead of Manchester United’s quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich, reports have emerged that Toni Kroos is keen to switch life in Germany for England.

There are at least ten players at Bayern Munich who earn more money than Kroos with him currently earning £65k-a-week, which is some way short of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben’s £165k-a-week. United would be prepared to offer him £200k-a-week.

Felix Kroos, the player’s brother, revealed last month that United were the ‘team of his dreams’ and that he had spoken about the prospective deal with Toni.

“We have already talked about it,” he said. “Manchester has been the team of my dreams since I was a child. However, I don’t give him any advice. He will take a good decision for himself. There are worse situations than having to decide something like that.”

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Jan 292014
 

Manchester United target Toni Kroos was angry to be subbed after in tonight’s game against Stuttgart. With an hour played and Bayern Munich a goal behind, Kroos was replaced by Claudio Piazarro.

Kroos went to the bench without shaking his team mates’ hands, before angrily throwing his gloves to the floor.

With his contract set to expire next summer and the player keen to improve his salary, Bayern Munich are reluctant to put him on the same level as the likes of Lahm and Ribery.

Kroos admitted this week that he was unsure about his future, whilst Pep Guardiola insisted he thought the player was important but didn’t know what was going to happen in the future.

David Moyes went to watch Kroos play last Friday with Steve Round and Phil Neville. With two days before the transfer window closes, can Manchester United take advantage of this temper tantrum?

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Jan 242014
 

If I hear, see or read the question “Where will Juan Mata fit into the Manchester United side” one more time, I am going to give up on the human race.

According to worldwide reports, the two times Chelsea Player of the Year is set to sign for the Premier League champions for a club record fee of £37m in what will arguably be biggest transfer in the history of English football as it comes between the two most successful sides of the Premier League era.

It is no secret that David Moyes had a torrid time trying to do business in the summer transfer window, seemingly missing out on numerous targets, of which one report claimed Juan Mata was on his hit list along with fellow countrymen Cesc Fabregas and Ander Hererra – but he did land one man in former Evertonian Marouane Fellaini.

The tough tackling Belgian was brought to Old Trafford for £27m and despite the apparent national outcry for a ball winning midfielder to be added to the ranks – something that hasn’t been seen since the days of Roy Keane and Nicky Butt; yet this signing wasn’t enough to keep the United faithful happy, with most wanting a creative player to take over where Paul Scholes had left off.

Six months into the season and on the cusp of completing the deal which would bring the 25 year old to the club, there are still some Manchester United fans moaning. Lord give me strength.

We can all appreciate that so far this has been a disastrous campaign. Out of both domestic cups, a million points behind league leaders Arsenal and keeping one eye on the teams around us which includes Newcastle and Southampton – it hasn’t really gone according to plan so action within this transfer window is an absolute must.

Asking where Juan Mata would fit into the current Manchester United set up is like asking me where a £50 note would fit into my wallet full of fivers – the answer being as simple as anywhere it wants.

We all watched the Capital One cup semi-final against Sunderland didn’t we? No creativity, no fluency, no dynamism… everything was stale.

As obvious as it sounds, when Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie are both fully fit, they both start, with Rooney playing in the deeper role behind the Dutch striker.

Juan Mata excels in this deeper role, so does this mean there are too many cooks in the kitchen?
Definitely not.

Keeping every player within your squad fully fit for an entire campaign is impossible. Ask any manager from any division from any league across Europe.

I have no doubts that Juan Mata would play enough games in his desired position throughout a season to justify this purchase; if it needs any justification anyway?

I can already hear the murmurs of the cynical comparing this to the Shinji Kagawa conundrum. Unfortunately for Kagawa, this is a completely different animal. Popular as he may be, Kagawa has been given time on the pitch; whether it be from the left hand side or centrally, and he has failed to deliver time and time again.

The Japanese star was brought to the club from Germany possessing huge potential, which has never been fulfilled. In Mata there is far more than potential, there is a man who has performed at the highest level on a weekly basis, in this league. Ask any Chelsea fan if they can justify this sale; or justify why he is being left on the bench – and not one will be able to give you valid answer.

Apparently he lacks the ability to see out his defensive duties? Apparently it is a long term feud with blues boss Mourinho from years ago? Either way, if Mata does end up a Manchester United player, I can guarantee it will be a within weeks that he becomes as important to David Moyes side as he was for Chelsea over the past two seasons.

If this transfer goes through, David Moyes deserves an enormous amount of credit for landing a player of this stature.

Do you think this signing will be happen or is it more empty promises?

 

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